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The Rushden Echo, 2nd October & 23rd October, 1903, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

2nd October

At a meeting of this Council on Wednesday night there were present:- Messrs. John Claridge (chairman), J. S. Clipson (vice-chairman), Fred Knight, G. Denton, W. H. Wilkins, W. Bazeley, F. Ballard, and T. Swindall, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), and the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin).

The Education Act

Mr. Wilkins asked whether any information had been received as to the appointment of the gentlemen recommended by the Council as managers of the schools.

The Clerk said it had not yet been received.

Mr. Denton said if it was any satisfaction to the Council he could inform them that the Council’s recommendations were adopted on Saturday. It was then stated in the Committee’s report that no report had been received from Rushden, but the recommendations were included in a supplemental report which was not printed and they were adopted.

Mr. Wilkins thought it was time that some intimation of the fact was received.

Water Committee

A special meeting of the Water Committee was held at the Vestry Hall on Wednesday the 9th day of September, 1903, when there were present:- Messrs. J. Claridge (chairman), J. S. Clipson, F. Knight, and W. H. Wilkins.

Coal for Water Works

The Surveyor reported that he had only received one tender in response to his advertisement, viz., from Messrs. Ellis and Everard Limited. The prices quoted for 25 tons of best hard steam coal delivered at pumping stations 2 and 3 were 19s. and 19s. 3d. per ton respectively, and for 75 tons of screened small nuts delivered at pumping stations 2 and 3 were 15s. 9d. and 16s.respectively.

The Surveyor was instructed to purchase the quantity required at the prices named.

The Surveyor reported that the post of engineer at pumping station No. 1 was now vacant and he required a good mechanic to take up the post; temporary arrangements had been made with Messrs. Mather and Son for them to provide a man until the Council made a new appointment. The Surveyor was instructed to advertise for a suitable mechanic at a wage of 30s. per week with house and gas.

The report was adopted.

Plans, &c., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Water, Highways and Lighting Committee was held at the Vestry Hall, on Wednesday, the 16th day of September 1903, when there were present:- Messrs. John Claridge (chairman), J. S. Clipson, F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, Fred Knight, and W. H. Wilkins.

College Street

Upper portion – The Surveyor submitted

(a) A specification of the Private Street Works resolved to be executed in the upper portion of this street with plans and sections.

(b) An estimate of the probable expenses of the works amounting to £210.

(c) A provisional apportionment of the estimated expenses among the premises liable to be charged.

It was resolved that the same be submitted to the Council at their next meeting with a recommendation from this Committee to approve the same.

In settling the provisional apportionments the Committee had regard to the varying degrees of benefit derived by the different properties abutting on the street. £50 was apportioned to Mrs. Higgins’ property, and £70 on that of Messrs. Cave’s, and the Committee resolved to recommend the Council to contribute the sum of £90 being the balance of the estimated expenses.

Lower portion – The Clerk reported that no objections had been received to the proposed works in this portion of the street, and the Surveyor was instructed to proceed with the work at his convenience and authorised to obtain the services of a suitable foreman.

High-Street Improvement

The Surveyor was also instructed to proceed with this improvement simultaneously with carrying out the works in College-street.

Washbrook Bridge

It was resolved to fence in the wings of this bridge on the north side with a closed fence.

Robinson-Road

The Clerk was instructed to post notices in this street declaring it a highway repairable by the inhabitants at large.

Public Lighting

The Lighting sub-committee reported in favour of additional lamps being provided as follows:- Two in Robinson-road, and one each in Pightles-terrace, John-street, Irchester-road, Hayway, and Spencer-road, they also recommended that the position of the one at the corner of Church-street be altered and the lamp on the Congregational Church not lighted in the future.

The recommendations of the Committee were approved and adopted.

Mr. Denton suggested that before proceeding with the improvement of College-street, the Committee should carefully consider the substitution of a granite kerb and Victoria pavement for an iron kerb and asphalt.

The Chairman said the matter had been a long time before the Council. The cost would be greatly increased if Mr. Denton’s suggestion were adopted.

Mr. Denton said the cost of maintenance would be much less.

Mr. Wilkins said the matter was very thoroughly thrashed out by the Committee, and he himself made the same suggestion as Mr. Denton had now made, but the Committee came to the conclusion that the town could not afford it.

The report was adopted.

Finance, etc., Committee

A meeting of the Finance, Estates, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held at the Vestry Hall, on Wednesday, the 23rd day of September, 1903, when there were present:- Messrs. J. Claridge, (chairman), Geo. Denton, A. Mantle, C. Bates, J. Hornsby, and Tom Swindall.

Surveyor’s Cash Account

The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages book the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-


£

s

d

Week ending 4th Sept., 1903

36

6

8

Week ending 11th Sept. 1903

42

14

8

Week ending 18th Sept., 1903

39

4

7


Collector’s Account

The Collector’s accounts were examined from which it appeared that during the past three weeks he had collected the following sums on the under-mentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

Water rate

190

7

11

District rate

965

13

8

Total

1,156

1

7


Collector’s Fittings Account

The Committee examined the Collector’s fittings account from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums on the under-mentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

Water works fittings

5

15

2

Hospital

1

4

0

Cemetery

9

0

0

Asphalting

13

1

5

Other roads

16

0

10

Materials


12

0

Farm

24

5

0

Total

69

18

5


Treasurer’s Receipts

The Committee examined the Treasurer’s account from which it appeared that the following sums had been paid to him during the past three weeks by the under-mentioned persons on the following accounts:-


£

s

d

Sept. 5th, J. W. Neville, balance Robinson-road



8

Sept. 5th, Woodcock, interest, Robinson-road

1

8

2

Sept. 5th, Page, interest, Robinson-road

18

6

Sept. 10th, National Union Fire Office, Melchbourne fire

13

17

5

Sept. 11th, J. Sargent, district rate

408

0

10

Sept. 12th, J. Sargent, district rate

125

12

4

Sept. 12th, J. Sargent, water rate

138

5

6

Sept. 23rd, J. Sargent, district rate

432

0

6

Sept. 23rd, J. Sargent, water rate

52

2

5

Sept. 23rd, J. Sargent, fittings account

69

18

5

Total

1,242

4

9


Treasurer’s Balances

The Committee examined the treasurer’s books and found that the following balances were in his hands on the under-mentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

General Account

2,923

8

2

Loan Account No. 16

570

15

4

Total

3,494

3

6


Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.

Sanitary and Health Reports

The Medical Officer reported that since the last meeting only one case of infectious disease had been notified, viz., one of scarlet fever.

The Sanitary Inspector reported that the case of scarlet fever referred to by the Medical Officer occurred at No. 30, Robinson-road, the patient, a girl of 14 years of age, having come from Hunter-street, Northampton, on a visit to Rushden on the 5th inst. and falling with the disease on the 8th inst. Disinfectants had been supplied and all the usual precautions taken.

The report was adopted.

Water Committee

A special meeting of the Water Committee was held at the Vestry Hall on Friday, the 25th day of September, 1903, when there were present:- Messrs. J. Claridge (chairman), J. S. Clipson, Fred Knight, F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, and W. H. Wilkins.

Appointment of Mechanic

The Committee interviewed two applicants for appointment of mechanic at the Wymington pumping station and unanimously resolved to recommend Mr. Geo. H. Hallam, of Kettering, for appointment to the post at a salary of 30/0 per week with house and gas.

The report was adopted.

23rd October, 1903

At a meeting of this Council on Wednesday night there were present Messrs. J. S. Clipson (in the chair), G. Denton, F. Knight, J. Hornsby, F. Ballard, C. Bates, W. H. Wilkins, A. Mantle, W. Bazeley, and T. Swindall, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason) and the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin).

Plans, &c., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Water, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Vestry Hall, on Wednesday, the 7th day of October 1903, when there were present:- Messrs. John Claridge (chairman), J. S. Clipson, F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, and W. H. Wilkins.

Plans

were presented by:-

Mr. F. Knight for additions to his factory in Park-road and passed.

The Newport Pagnell Brewery Company, Limited, for additions to their out-door beer-house in Cromwell-road and passed subject to the bay windows being set back in a line with the bay windows of the adjoining property.

Mr. W. Mark for alterations at the rear of his shop in High-street and passed.

Mr. T. Patenall for two cottages, stable, and coach-house in Elm-street and rejected for proper drainage arrangements to be shown. A sub-committee consisting of the Chairman and Mr. Wilkins were appointed to see Mr. Patenall on the subject of such arrangements.

College-Street

The Surveyor produced his estimate for the culvert at the lower end of this street amounting to £121/9/11, the following tenders were then opened:-


£

s

d

Messrs. Harrison and Windser

178

0

0

Mr. Henry Sparrow

132

0

0

Mr. T. Willmott, jun

125

0

0

Mr. E. Bayes

122

10

0

Mr. W. G. Willmott

119

0

0

It was resolved to recommend the Council to accept the tender of Mr. W. G. Willmott.

Public Lighting

Letters were received from Mr. George Selwood and Mr. C. L. Bradfield calling attention to the upper portion of the Newton-road between Robert-street and the Cemetery and asking for a lamp to be provided there. The Lighting sub-committee were requested to visit the district and report.

Pumping Station, Wymington

The Surveyor was instructed to have the necessary inside painting and papering done to the house before the new mechanic takes up his residence there.

Church Yard Entrance

The Churchwardens submitted a plan showing a proposed improvement at the entrance to the church yard by the removal of the wall at present separating the church yard from the entrance to the Vestry Hall.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to agree to the alteration, it being understood that no expense would be incurred by the Council, the churchwardens also undertaking to provide and fix a gate at the bottom of the first flight of steps from the Vestry Hall if required by the Council so to do.

The report was adopted.

Finance, etc., Committee

A meeting of the Finance, Estates, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held at the Vestry Hall, on Wednesday, the 14th day of October, 1903, when there were present:- Messrs. J. S. Clipson (chairman), Geo. Denton, A. Mantle, C. Bates, J. Hornsby, J. Claridge, and Tom Swindall.

Water Rate

The Clerk was instructed to request the Collector to prepare a return and submit to the next meeting of this Committee showing the various properties assessed to this rate in respect of w.c.’s only and the amount which would be payable by such properties if assessed for the usual domestic purposes.

Surveyor’s Cash Account

The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-


£

s

d

Week ending 25th Sept., 1903

38

14

1

Week ending 2nd Oct., 1903

41

2

7

Week ending 9th Oct., 1903

42

15

6


Clerk’s Cash Account

The Committee examined the clerk’s petty cash account from which it appeared that he had disbursed the sum of £33/11/8 during the past six months.

Collector’s Account

The Collector’s accounts were examined from which it appeared that during the past three weeks he had collected the following sums on the under-mentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

District rate

715

0

1

Water rate

205

8

2

Cemetery fees

24

6

3

Total

944

14

6


Fittings and Miscellaneous Account

The Committee examined the ledger containing a statement of the accounts rendered in respect of work and sales during the past six months amounting to £448/2/10.

Collector’s Fittings Account

The Committee examined the Collector’s fittings account from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums on the under-mentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

Fittings

29

3

10

Fire station

7

0

0

Asphalting

287

10

5

District roads


15

0

Scavenging

2

4

6

Hospital


3

0

Farm

1

10

0

Total

328

6

9


Treasurer’s Receipts

The Committee examined the Treasurer’s account from which it appeared that the following sums had been paid to him during the past three weeks by the under-mentioned persons on the following accounts:-


£

s

d

Sept. 26th J. Sargent, water rate

40

12

5

Sept. 29th J. Sargent, fittings

29

0

2

Sept. 29th J. Sargent, fittings

280

19

0

Sept. 30th J. Sargent, district rate

325

10

0

Oct. 3rd J. Sargent, district rate

250

16

10

Oct. 3rd J. Sargent, water rate

109

15

9

Oct. 8th J. Sargent, cemetery fees

24

6

3

Oct. 14th J. Sargent, district rate

138

13

3

Oct. 14th J. Sargent, water rate

55

0

0

Oct. 14th J. Sargent, fittings

18

7

7

Total

1,273

1

3


Treasurer’s Balances

The Committee examined the treasurer’s books and found that the following balances were in his hands on the under-mentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

General Account

3,122

7

3

Loan Account No. 16

 570

15

4

Total

3,693

2

7

Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.

Health and Sanitary Reports

The Medical Officer reported as follows:-

“Only one case of infectious disease has been reported since the last meeting, viz., scarlet fever, of which the origin could not be traced.”

The Sanitary Inspector reported that the case of scarlet fever notified occurred at No. 37, Crabb-street, and that he was unable to account for it in any way. All the usual precautions were being taken.

Sewage Farm

The Sub-Committee reported that they met on the 24th September and instructed the surveyor to arrange for a sale of the crops. The sale took place on Monday, the 12th inst., and realised £106/15/6, which the Committee considered very satisfactory.

Audit

The Clerk reported that the audit of the accounts of the Council for the year ending 31st March last had been completed and certified by the District Auditor as correct.

Referring to the audit, the Chairman said it would no doubt be satisfactory to the Council to hear that the Clerk and the Surveyor had been complimented by the Auditor on the excellent way the books had been kept. (Hear, hear.)

The report was adopted.

……………………..

The Unemployed in Rushden

Discussion at The Urban Council Meeting

A long discussion with regard to the question of finding work for the unemployed of Rushden took place at a meeting of the Urban Council on Wednesday evening.

Mr. Bazeley introduced the subject, having given notice of motion with regard to it. He moved that the Council adopt relief works of a public nature, with a view to finding work for the unemployed. He said that, seeing how many there were in the town who were unemployed or only partially employed, the Council would only be doing right in carrying out some public works or improvements. For instance, they might lay out their Park-road field, lay storm-water drains, remove the bank on the south side of Wymington-road and the bank on Higham Hill.

Mr. A. Mantle seconded the motion.

Mr. T. Swindall asked if the work was required for shoe operatives. If so, it seemed hardly suitable.

Mr. Bazeley said many of the unemployed were shoe operatives, but, with supervision, they could do the work almost as well as those who were accustomed to it.

Mr. Denton said it might be worth their while to have a general academic discussion on the subject, but if they were just to discuss the subject in relation to the Council the discussion would be narrowed down a great deal, seeing that the question of destitution came within the scope of the Poor-law and not of the Council. No doubt hardship occurred periodically among workers, but he suggested that the Trade Union should devise some means of relief and some method of getting the surplus and incompetent labour back to the land, where it must go eventually. Competent men would not then be so handicapped as they were at present. It seemed to him that it was a matter which concerned the Trade Union more than it did the Council, though the relief works suggested might do a little good temporarily. The question would have to be faced, for in the future there would not be the opening there had been for incompetent labour. Factories with 100 men could now turn out as much as 200 men could formerly, and it was evidently to everybody’s advantage that only the 100 should be employed, but the surplus labour remained to be dealt with. A labour bureau might do something to help those who needed employment, but in his opinion the course proposed by Mr. Bazeley would not deal with the difficulty.

Mr. Bazeley said it was just the incompetent men who had been used by the employers to keep down the price of labour. The action suggested would have the effect of wiping such manufacturers out altogether, and he did not know that it would not be better. With regard to his proposal, some of the work he mentioned would have to be done before long and he thought it would be a great blessing to those out of work to do it now.

Mr. J. Hornsby thought that in any public works that were undertaken townspeople and town-tradesmen should be employed as far as possible.

Mr. F. Knight said it was evident that Mr. Hornsby was a protectionist, pure and simple. The Council would soon get into hot water if they accepted a higher tender on the ground that it was sent in by a Rushden tradesman. He did not see that they could spend money left and right as proposed by Mr. Bazeley, to give relief which could only be temporary. Besides, they had not provided for the work in the estimates. As Mr. Denton had suggested, there was a strong Boot and Shoe Operatives Union, with an immense sum of money in their hands. He thought the members of the Union who were out of work would very much appreciate the use of some of that money as a relief fund. He imagined it would add very much to the number of their members, and that the Union would stand much higher in consequence. He was sorry that the trade had got into such a deplorable state.

Mr. Bazeley said the Union and its funds had nothing to do with the question. He did not move his resolution for the Union. He thought that bringing the matter before a Radical Council, with no Conservative members to block the progress, it would result in something being done.

Mr. Wilkins said he saw one difficulty in the way of the work suggested. In the ordinary way the work would be done by the Council’s regular workmen, but if done now the Council’s workmen would be thrown out of work at the time when in the ordinary course they would have done it.

After further discussion, Mr. Ballard moved as an amendment that the subject be referred to a committee of the whole Council, and this suggestion was agreed to, Mr. Bazeley withdrawing his motion in its favour.



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